T20 is considered a batsmen’s game, but there are often bowlers who stand up and deliver even in the shortest format of the sport. Here’s a look at the top five bowlers in the ICC World T20 2014.
Imran Tahir: The leg spinnerfrom South Africa was the top wicket-taker in the event. In five games, he claimed 12 wickets averaging11 with one four-wicket haul. Tahir began the series on an impressive note, with 3 for 26 against the strong Sri Lankan outfit. He also helped South Africa outdo New Zealand in a close match with 2 for 27. Also, hadn’t it been for Tahir’s excellent bowling performance, the Netherlands might have shocked the Proteas. His 4 for 21 enabled South Africa to escape with a narrow win. Tahir was impressive against England as well, with 2 for 27.
Ahsan Malik: The Netherlands medium pacer was the joint highest wicket-taker in the match, but he took seven matches to claim his 12 wickets averaging 14 with one five-wicket haul. Malik began the event with 3 for 16 against the UAE, and also made an impact in the memorable match against Ireland with 2 for 26. However, his best performance came in the match against South Africa. His 5 for 19 kept the Proteas down to a gettable total, and only lack of experience was responsible for them to losing the match.
Samuel Badree: The West Indian leggie outdid the much-fancied Sunil Narine in the tournament. In five matches, he managed to pick up 11 wickets averaging 10.2 with one four wicket haul. Opening the bowling, Badree stifled most opponents. After claiming 1 for 28 against India, he was all over Bangladesh with 4 for 15. With 2 for 37, he played his part in the team’s win over Australia, but it was against Pakistan that he was at his sensational best. His figures of 3 for 10 destroyed Pakistan, and led them into the semi-finals. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make an impression against Lanka.
Ravichandran Ashwin: The Indian offie had an excellent series in which he troubled most opponents. In 6 games, Ashwin finished with 11 wickets averaging 11.2 with one four wicket haul. After going wicketless against Pakistan, he claimed 1 for 24 against West Indies. He came into his own against Bangladesh with 2 for 15 and then outsmarted the Aussies with sensational figures of 4 for 11. In the semis against South Africa, Ashwin exploited South Africa’s weakness and finished with 3 for 22. He couldn’t make an impact in the final since India did not have enough to defend.
Amit Mishra: The World T20 has renewed Mishra’s international career to an extent. Giving the ball air, he claimed 10 wickets in six matches averaging 14.7. Mishra was the man of the match in the first two games – 2 for 22 against Pakistan and 2 for 18 against West Indies. Mishra continued his good run against Bangladesh (3 for 26) and Australia (2 for 13). Unfortunately, he failed to deliver in the semis and finals, somewhat negating his excellent earlier efforts.
--By A Cricket Analyst